Valtteri Bottas departed the Hungaroring having conceded the lead of the Formula 1 world championship to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Seeing a 13-point advantage turn into a five-point deficit in the space of two races does not inspire confidence that this, finally, could be the season Bottas finally comes good and topples Hamilton from atop his perch.
But Bottas himself remains resolutely determined, and upbeat - in the manner you might expect of an elite athlete who must maintain self-belief even in the face of that self-confidence being regularly and exactingly tested by the feats of wonder performed by someone else with exactly the same machinery at their disposal.
"I think my performance has been good," Bottas said after Sunday's race in Budapest, in which he finished third, behind Max Verstappen's Red Bull, while also conceding the bonus point for fastest lap to race winner Hamilton. "I think there have been some unlucky events. That has cost me a little bit. But performance-wise I am pleased. It's a very encouraging start.